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SLX2001120401 - DECEMBER 1969: In December 1969, after Brian Piccolo underwent surgery for removal of a .malignant tumor, he and his wife, Joy, admire a handmade lamp given to him by a Chicago Bears fan. The lamp's base has figurines of (from left) running back Ronnie Bull, linebacker Dick Butkus and Piccolo. The remake of Brian's Song was shown on Sunday on ABC. rlw/FILES UPI
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Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus (born December 9, 1942) is a former American football player, widely regarded as the greatest linebacker of his generation and one of the best football players of all time. Butkus starred as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Butkus was born into a large Lithuanian family of eight children on the south side of Chicago. He played high school football for Coach Bernie O'Brien at Chicago Vocational School. There he met his three lifelong friends Patrick O'Neill, Tyler Volk, and Eric Parker who played linebacker with him in high school. The group was infamously known around the conference as the ferocious quartet. Their coach, Alex Fairhart, was a mentor and good friend of the "quartet".

Despite growing up in Chicago, Butkus wasn't much of a Bears fan at the time, preferring to go to some Chicago Cardinals games at Comiskey Park and enjoyed watching Thanksgiving games between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dick Butkus."